If you are or have been the victim of domestic abuse we are here to offer you the support and understanding you need. No one should feel afraid, intimidated or harassed by their former partner, male or female. We understand that you will be frightened, worried or embarrassed about seeking help.
You have the right to protect yourself and your children from an abusive partner. Domestic abuse comes in many forms, men as well as women suffer from physical and emotional abuse. Sometimes you may not recognise certain behaviour as abuse. Domestic abuse is defined as physical, emotional and financial abuse.
Over the years our clients have told us about their relationships, unware that during their relationship they have been victims of controlling behaviour. Such as isolating a person from their friends and family, keeping checks on where they have been and who they have been with. When a person takes the step to leave an abusive relationship, this often causes more distress than continuing in the relationship. However, with a good legal advice and support, we can offer you the legal protection you need as well as help you build a future, putting you in touch with support groups and agencies.
Non Molestation orders
The family court has a number of powers to protect you, a non-molestation order or injunction can stop a former partner contacting you either in person, or by other forms of communication such as text or email. The court can also stop your former partner from encouraging others from contacting you on his or her behalf such as their friends or family. If the court feels it necessary the court will order that a power of arrest is included in the order, so if your former partner comes to your home, approaches you in the street or comes to your place of work, the police can be called to arrest him/her/
If you former partner breaches the order, then the police can prosecute which could lead to a criminal record or being imprisoned. Non molestation orders or injunctions normally last for 6 or 12 months, but they can be extended if they are still needed.
If you are afraid to return to your home, or you are scared that your former partner might return to live with you. We can ask the court to make an order stopping him from living in the property known as an occupation order.
If you think that by your partner being notified that you are making an application for the injunction would mean he would cause you harm the court can make the order without notice to him/her. This is known as an ex-parte application or without notice application. Once the order has been made the court would then list the case for a return date hearing with your partner being present at the hearing.
If your partner denies the allegations made against him then the court will list the case for a full contested hearing where you and your former partner would get to put your sides of the case to the Judge who would then make a decision based on the information heard from you both. During this time there is an injunction in place to ensure your protection until a final decision is made by the court.
Legal Aid is no longer available for most legal services, however for domestic abuse cases or in other cases if there has already been a finding of domestic abuse, depending on your income you may therefore still be entitled to legal aid or public funding of your case. Unfortunately Wake Smith do not undertake legal aid work, however, if you would be entitled to legal aid due to your income we will put you in touch with a local legal aid solicitor who will be able to help you.
There are a number of charities and advice centres if you feel you need further advice and support:
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"Alison Gaddes has handled my divorce efficiently and professionally whilst being sensitive to what has been a difficult time for me. She has explained all aspects of the legalities and kept me fully updated on the developments of my case at all times. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone seeking legal representation."
"Thank you for all your help and advise, divorce is always unpleasant but I must admit that with you and your team on my side everything went as smoothly as possible. If any of my friends are unlucky enough to find themselves in my situation I wouldn't hesitate to give them your number. All the best and thank you again."
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